BMW Vision Future Luxury
The aptly-named Vision Future Luxury concept is a subtle yet stunning carbon fiber and aluminum high-tech representation of what the German sports and executive car maker believes is the shape of luxurious and innovative vehicles to come
BMW is being very careful and using the phrase "long-term outlook" when discussing the car on display on its stand at the 13th Auto China motor show, because it knows that concepts are just that -- concepts -- and it doesn't want to get prospective and existing customers too excited. Because if it could go into production now, there would definitely be a queue of buyers long enough to stretch right around the exhibition space -- several times.
"Innovative technology and modern luxury have always been an important part of BMW's brand DNA," says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. "We use visionary concept vehicles like the BMW Vision Future Luxury to show where we may be going with these themes in the future, and to give us new inspiration and motivation. The BMW Vision Future Luxury -- with its innovative technologies and with meticulous precision and quality in every detail -- takes our thinking on modern luxury a logical stage further."
The show car has a serious, angular yet understated presence and many of its exterior design flourishes evoke memories of the Grand Lusso Concept Coupe -- the wonderful V12 GT tourer the company created with Italian design studio Pininfarina in 2013. And that's a good thing.
The vehicle looks compact yet is in fact a business lounge at a Swiss airport cunningly disguised as a car. BMW has almost done away with the B-pillars and adopted coach doors (known in the trade as suicide doors) for the rear passengers so that with all four doors open the cabin is a huge, open space with room for transporting four in premium levels of luxury.
Inside, BMW has used layers of different materials to build up the cabin -- an approach it calls ‘subtractive modelling' which, as well as looking elegant and uncluttered, is also meant to add strength, reduce weight and make traveling in or driving the car more intuitive.
Gone are the traditional dials and buttons of the dashboard to be replaced by three 36D displays that arc around the driver and take up less space yet, thanks to the richness and depth of their resolution, can give the driver the sense of looking at more traditional instruments.
And of course, there's a heads-up display and one that augments the road ahead by projecting information within the driver's line of vision that appears to be overlaid on the road or on buildings or points of interest. And so as not to feel left out, the front seat passenger also gets a touchscreen display to play with that can be used for navigation, infotainment or making hotel reservations.
In the back, rear-seat passengers get matching displays set into carbon surrounds and a detachable rear-seat command tablet plus a retractable table to finish off the business-class vibe.